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Case Study: High-End Retail

Understanding Why Sales Failed to Meet Expectations After a Promising New Product Release

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The Situation

After racing to market to be present in a quickly expanding category, our client’s product sold, but failed to meet forecasted projections by a significant proportion. The time to get to market was very tight—so customer feedback was not gathered in the development stage. Rather, our client created a solution which relied on internal hypotheses and assumptions related to customer desires and needs. As a high-end retail brand, the resulting product was given premium pricing. Pricing was justified by adding features beyond those present in competitor products. Our client believed customers would see their product as superior due to their brand and the increased functionality viewed to be missing from existing options.

Objectives

ENGINE partnered with this client to:

 

  1. Identify the root cause of lower-than-expected sales and to present solutions to improve sales
  2. Understand customer expectations and desires for the product along with customer characteristics and associated features of interest
  3. Appreciate the full market context through competitive product assessment and develop targeted marketing to reach customers who mimic satisfied customers.

Our Approach

 

Using our post-purchase CX journey approach, we established the context for our client’s product, mapped their post-purchase customer journey, identified moments that matter, and quantified performance on those aspects to determine product experience strengths and weaknesses to inform revisions, marketing and messaging. Putting the research into action, we created two audiences and took them to market improving sales and return on marketing spend.

Our Process

1. Establish market context for our client’s product.

ENGINE’s Accelerated Intelligence team conducted product deep dives for our client’s top competitor products. We performed the same market analysis on our client’s product to create full benchmarking comparisons.

 

3. Quantify the post-purchase product experience journey

After going deep into customer expectations and experience with our client’s and competitor’s products, we put the findings into context. In this phase, we gathered post-purchase customer experience data using a 12-minute online survey. A total of 500 interviews were completed with purchasers of our client’s product and that of four key competitors.

With the post-purchase journey touchpoints identified and quantified, ENGINE used predictive analytics to determine the key drivers of post-purchase product satisfaction and recommendation.

2. Map the post-purchase customer journey.

Utilizing our online digital community platform, ENGINE Hives, we recruited competitor and client customers as well as a group of customers who were in the market/shopping this specific product category.

 

4. Take action on the knowledge we gained via targeted marketing

ENGINE Audiences isolates customer behavioral, attitudinal, and demographics characteristics from those who purchased our client’s product

ENGINE created two targeted audiences to increase overall sales

OUTCOME

 

As a result of the breadth and depth of customer feedback received in combination with market intelligence gathered on competitor products, our client decided to move forward with production of a second product. This version 2.0 offer was created with reduced features and a lower price point to meet the needs of a greater market base.

By activating their targeted marketing audiences, our client was able to increase the return on their marketing investment and increase sales for their original product with sales steadily increasing in step with their original forecast.

The product line expansion created a greater outreach and additional revenue with a relatively easy design modification that was able to be manufactured on the same line as the original product.

ENGINE continues to work with this client to inform product development and innovation efforts using this approach and other components of ENGINE’s full suite of capabilities from insights, to targeted media buys, advertising placement, message creation, and more.

 

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